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For Release: Wednesday, June 1, 2022

DEC Seeks Public Comment on Draft Recreation Management Plan for Three Lakes Tract Conservation Easement in Herkimer County

Comments Accepted until July 1 on Draft Plan that Maintains and Improves Upon Current Recreational Access on Easement Lands

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking public comment on a draft recreation management plan (RMP) for the Three Lakes Tract Conservation Easement in the town of Webb, Herkimer County. The 3,350-acre Three Lakes Tract (TLT) is comprised of commercially managed forestland and is named for three waterbodies located on the property-Hitchcock, Grass, and Moose ponds. The RMP will address public recreational access and facilities consistent with the conservation easement. The public comment period is open until July 1, 2022.

DEC proposes the following actions in the draft RMP:

  • Maintain two existing snowmobile trails totaling 4.8 miles on the property;
  • Establish hiking trails connecting McCarty Road in the Independence River Wild Forest to Blue, Hitchcock, Grass, and Moose ponds on the TLT. This includes a total of 4.4 miles of trail on the conservation easement (2.9 miles will follow existing snowmobile trails and the remaining 1.5 miles will involve minimal trail construction, mostly following old skid trails or existing trails used by the lease camp located on the TLT). Additionally, a connector trail up to 0.6 miles may be constructed to the Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness Area, pending proposals in the Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness Unit Management Plan revision;
  • Permit primitive camping throughout the property. Three primitive campsites will be established near Hitchcock, Grass, and Moose ponds. An Accessible Campsite for People with Disabilities (ACPWD) will be established near Blue Pond;
  • Allow hunting, fishing, and trapping throughout the property;
  • Allow paddling throughout the property; and
  • Develop and distribute new recreation maps and information to the public.

For more information the draft RMP, a PowerPoint presentation summarizing the draft RMP, and the encumbering conservation easement deed can be viewed on the DEC website. DEC is accepting public comments through July 1, 2022. Comments can be submitted via email to R6.UMP@dec.ny.gov or mailed to Matthew Nowak, Environmental Program Specialist, NYS DEC, 7327 State Route 812, Lowville, NY 13367.

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